Story by Justin Brouillard | Photos by Tanner & Travis Lyons
Adding the biggest bag of the tournament to his day one weight of 14-pounds, 8-ounces, Summerville, South Carolina Pro Patrick Walters takes the lead with a day two weight of 19-pounds, 6-ounces, and a total weight of 33-pounds, 14-ounces. Starting the morning on a spot he located at the end of day one with no luck, Walters made a change at 10:30 AM with only two small fish in his bag.
“I got on some good herring bites yesterday afternoon and I started on those fishing this morning but it wasn’t happening. I scrapped it and went after some spawning fish to fill a limit and it was for only about 7 to 8-pounds.”
Once the wind picked up, Walters knew what he had to do. Slipping back out into “the deal,” he was able to get to work and landed all of his bigger bites. He is fishing a variety of moving baits to target schooling bass and noted the key to success off shore is to cover water and find fish willing to bite.
“Tomorrow, I have a few stretches of shallow fish I have not even been to yet and I am really curious as to what’s going on up in those areas. After that, I’m going to run some new water and rotate through my key herring spots.”
Adding 15-pounds, 12-ounces on day two, day one co leader Brandon Perkins sits in the 2nd spot with a two-day total of 33-pounds, 8-ounces. Seen on live coverage working a combination schooling fish and sight fishing, Perkins got off to a slower start this morning and went to work with his swimbait to catch his weight for the day.
“I started where I started yesterday and caught four little babies pretty quick. I stayed in that same area and caught a 4.25-pounder on the swimbait and then a 3.75-pounder to get the day off on the right direction.”
After bouncing around with no luck, the Counce, Tennessee pro put his head down and worked on his shallow fish. Locating a group of quality bass chasing fry behind a dock, Perkins left the area alone and returned for a few casts later in the day.
“I skipped up under that cable and one knocked slack into it but it never got the bait. Those fish are around the bed but they are chasing brim and not actually locked on. You can’t fish for them how you normally would sight fishing and they are super hard to catch. I know where the big ones are and it’s just a matter of getting them to bite.”
With some wind projected for Showdown Saturday, Perkins is hoping to get his morning off to a good start similar to a few days in practice.
“Two days in practice I was getting bites on a spook and they were all big ones. Tomorrow, I am going to start on that shoal and hope to get off to a good start so I can keep that swimbait in my hand and really go after them hard the rest of the day.”
With another solid day, Mike Corbishley added 16-pound, 7-ounces to his day one weight to finish the day tied for the 2nd place spot with a total weight of 33-pounds, 8-ounces. Corbishley continued his junk fishing pattern of rotating between herring fish and sight fishing to catch his day two bag.
“There were boats on all of my areas so I basically fished my B areas this morning. I was able to catch a few to get the day going including that big one (seen on live coverage). After that, I went through some key areas up shallow and caught one fish, and lost another one that would have given me the lead.”
After returning to his herring fish when the wind picked up in the afternoon, Corbishley went back to work culling several times late in the day. Spending several hours looking for new water for Showdown Saturday, he utilized his Lowrance electronics to find several areas similar to those he has fished thus far.
“I am basically looking at the Lowrance C-Map Reveal, using the South East card, and finding herring spawning areas with specific contour breaks that hold fish. Once I find the spot, the Active Target helps me find those schools of bait and I can make high percentage casts. Tomorrow I am going to try and bust them for all they are worth.”
Backing up his day one weight of 17-pounds, 7-ounces, Drew Six added a 14-pound, 13-ounce bag to his two-day weight of 32-pounds, 4-ounces to finish the day in the 4th place spot. When asked about his day two on the water, Six laughed and noted an almost identical day as yesterday but with one change.
“Basically, copy that same story from yesterday, and change the bass I caught to bluegill chasers.”
As a self-proclaimed offshore angler, Six says his game plan this week is “freaky” but has worked flawlessly to putting him in contention to take home the win on Showdown Saturday.
“The ones from today were chasing bluegills and bait all day and I am basically covering a ton of water. Looking ahead to tomorrow, I do have some fish I hope to catch (on beds), but I am going to just swing as hard as I can and see what happens.”
Catching his biggest bag of the event, Bryant Smith added 16-pounds to his total weight to finish the day in the 5th place spot, just 2-pounds, 9-ounces behind the leader. Bryant has executed his “junk fishing mess” flawlessly and is fishing whatever he comes across throughout his day.
“I have tried it all – I am fishing docks, fishing herring fish, fishing for spawners, cruisers, you name it. I went into the event open minded as it’s a very volatile time of year and I am just rolling with what happens and not getting stuck on one thing.”
Starting off both days with a limit by around 9 AM, Smith is bouncing around both deep and shallow to catch his fish.
“I have not been able to get a big fish at all in the morning which is frustrating, but tomorrow I will run more of it. I had a late day today and a good bag so I snuck up to some shallow stuff and found some good ones to try to catch tomorrow.”
The Rest of the Best:
6 Justin Kimmel 30-11
7 William Fletcher 29-12
8 Josh Ray 29-12
9 David Gaston 29-7
10 Jason Wilson 29-4
Be sure to join us tomorrow for Showdown Saturday with LIVE starting @ 8 am.